Indigenous Peoples’ Day Speaker

In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the school asked author Joseph Bruchnac to speak to the school at Friday Assembly and spend some time with the Grade VI boys who are studying American history.

Mr. Bruchnac is an elder from the Nulhegan Abenaki tribe in New York.  He began his talk with a traditional greeting on a drum.  The drum calls us all to come together and listen.  His elders have passed on to him the four actions we must always take when coming together, like four dots around a circle.  The first is to listen, then to observe the world around you, to remember what you learn, and then finally to share with others. “Storytelling is a very powerful tool,” Mr. Bruchnac tells us.  Stories can contain useful lessons within them that can guide us long after first hearing the story.  He told us a traditional tale of a boy trying to build up the courage to talk to a girl in his village.  Mr. Bruchnac has such a wise and calming voice that all the boys were mesmerized by his presentation.

After assembly, Mr. Bruchnac visited the two sixth grade homerooms via Zoom.  Earlier in the year, the boys read Code Talker: A Novel About The Navajo Marines of World War II.  The author discussed his book and answered questions about the Native American experience in the 20th century.  We are privileged to hear from Mr. Bruchnac and our librarians encourage the boys to check out his books from the St. Bernard’s library. 

Please visit his website to learn more about Mr. Bruchnac and his many projects.